Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Arthur Helge Swan papers
Collection Number MSS P:5
Dates of Creation 1891-1916
Extent of Description 11 linear feet, 25 boxes
Language English, Swedish
Creator Swan, Arthur Helge, 1885-1916
Other Creators Swan, G.N. (Gustaf Nelson), 1856-1938
Search Terms Swan, Arthur Helge, 1885-1916
Swan, G.N. (Gustaf Nelson), 1856-1938
New York (N.Y.)
Sioux City (Iowa)
Administrative or Biographical History Arthur Helge Swan was born in Sioux City, Iowa City and July 27, 1885 to Gustaf N. Swan and Carolina Samuelsson Swan (mother died in 1888). Swan was raised by his grandmother, Anna Loves Swan. He attended grade school and high school in Sioux City. During the school year 1904-1905, he studied at Augustana College in Rock Island. In 1906, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and during the school year 1907-1908, he studied at Columbia University in New York.

During the winter of 1909-1910, Swan went to London and Paris to study Elizabethan Drama and literature. Back in the United States, Swan settled in New York where he lived from 1911-1914, supporting himself as a dramatist, critic, and teacher. In 1915-1916, Swan spent a year in California, but at the end of 1916, he moved back to New York again.

Swan published poetry, essays and articles in journals and newspapers such as the Poet Love, the Bookman, the Nation, the Theatre, Sioux City Tribune, Sioux City Journal, Svenska Monitoren, and California Veckoblad.

Arthur Helge Swan died from a heart attack on August 3, 1916, at the age of 31. He was buried at Floyd Cemetery in Sioux City on August 5, 1916 by Rev. O.N. Olson.

Scope & Content The collection is divided into series:

Series I. Includes biographical data and personal papers relating to Swan's education, diplomas from schools, report cards, personal notebooks and journals.

Series II. The correspondence includes 1 box of letters from his father, G.N. Swan, personal letters and postcards, and business related correspondence.

Series III. The manuscripts contain original drafts and bound versions of plays, stories, essays, articles, poetry written by Swan, as well as notes relating to his career as a playwright.

Series IV. Scrapbooks of poetry and other misc. writings, lists of plays and recitals 1907-1913.

Series V. This series include articles, essays written by A.H.S. friends, poetry, and theatre programs, musical and opera programs from New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and London.

Series VI. Misc. printed matters, incl. clippings concerning the Swan family 1906-1915, cards, brochures from art events, and various business cards.

Series VII
Postcards arranged by subject

Series VIII
Photographs of family and friends.

Series IX
Oversized items and memorabilia.
Finding Aid Link Finding Aid Link